During routine health screenings, your primary care physician checks various levels of nutrients in your blood. Your calcium level is one he’ll likely check. Because an abnormal calcium level shows up during these routine visits, most people don’t have symptoms of hyperparathyroidism, since the problem can be corrected right away. Once symptoms arise, it usually means you have a problem with vital organs. If this happens, you could experience:
Hyperparathyroidism causes the calcium levels in your blood to spike, a condition known as hypercalcemia. With hypercalcemia, you usually have a lot of calcium circulating in your blood, but you don’t have much calcium in your bones. As a result, you could wind up with weak, brittle bones, a condition known as osteoporosis.
That excess calcium can also build up and bind in your urine. This causes little stones to form, known as kidney stones, which can be incredibly painful. Your heart might also be at risk with hypercalcemia. High levels of calcium, due to hyperparathyroidism, is linked to high blood pressure and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
No. Dr. Babajanian is a board-certified surgeon who has specialized training in all disorders relating to the thyroid, including hyperparathyroidism. If he determines that surgery is the best option for you, expect minimal downtime. Surgery cures more than 95% of hyperparathyroidism cases. Because Dr. Babajanian uses state-of-the-art surgical techniques to remove the abnormal gland or glands, your risk of complications is very low. Fewer than 1% of patients have any serious side effects from this type of surgery.
Probably not. The exact cause of hyperparathyroidism is unknown most of the time. Dr. Babajanian reports that hyperparathyroidism only runs in the family -- genetics -- about 5% of the time. Women are twice as likely to suffer from hyperparathyroidism, but lifestyle or diet doesn’t seem to have a direct link to an increase in risk. In very rare cases (only 0.5%), hyperparathyroidism is related to a cancerous tumor of the parathyroid gland.
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